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Pointing at the MoonBuddhism, Logic, Analytic Philosophy$
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Jay L. Garfield, Tom J. F. Tillemans, and Mario D'Amato

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195381559

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381559.001.0001

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Wittgenstein and Zen Buddhism: One Practice, No Dogma

Wittgenstein and Zen Buddhism: One Practice, No Dogma

(p.13) 2 Wittgenstein and Zen Buddhism: One Practice, No Dogma
Pointing at the Moon

Rupert Read

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses homologies between Wittgenstein's account of philosophical practice in both the Tractatus and the Investigations with accounts of practice in Zen. The chapter argues that both Wittgenstein and such Zen thinkers as Shunryu Suzuki regard philosophy as, at one level, indicating that ordinary practice, ordinary language, and ordinary life are “in order” as they are—requiring neither critique nor validation by philosophy—while, at another, they regard philosophical insight as necessary to living ordinary life in an enlightened way. The distinction between ordinary life and enlightened life is, on both accounts, profound but ineffable.

Keywords:   Zen Buddhism, Wittgenstein, Buddhists, ordinary life, ordinary language

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